Friday 2 June 2023

Costa Rica lived the most violent night in its history: 9 murders in 12 hours

"The matter is very complicated". Between 6 pm Thursday and 6 am Friday, there were nine murders. In addition, five people were taken to the hospital in delicate condition.

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QCOSTARICA – osta Rica experienced the most violent night in the country’s history, recording nine murders in a 12-hour period, between 6:30 pm Thursday, April 13 and 6:30 am Friday, April 14.

In addition, at least five people were wounded by bullets in said attacks and transferred to hospitals in delicate condition.

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Experts in security issues, including former OIJ agents, point out that, without a doubt, it is the most violent night in living memory, taking into account that the most violent day was March 2, 2022, when eight people were murdered on a farm in Matama de Limón. That same day, in separate events, two more people were murdered.

“There is an escalation in this type of crime and it is not just in one place, it is at the national level: in Sámara, in Limón, in Vargas Araya (San Pedro Montes de Oca); that is, violence is becoming generalized.

“There is a situation that is exemplary: if crimes are committed in a place and the State is not capable of reacting, it enters a state of comfort, and these are learned behaviors. Criminals think that killing is a simple and non-punitive way to settle debts,” explained Gerardo Castaing, professor and former head of the Organismo de Investigacion Judicial (OIJ).

“The worrying thing about the issue is that these criminal groups are based throughout the country. The matter is very complicated. We have been talking about the need for a budget so that the police forces can work with greater coordination, equip themselves and recruit personnel,” added Gustavo Mata, former Minister of Security.

Some 24 hours earlier, on Wednesday, President Rodrigo Chaves said following the weekly cabinet meeting, that some sectors and the media made the crude wave of murders facing the country appear as a “crisis”.

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“However, it is not so. It is something that has always happened (…),” the president said.

According to the OIJ, the majority of these murders are associated with organized crime, and their continuing disputes over territory and settling of scores.

In the 12 hours, authorities were called to the murder of 25-year-old Dreidyn Díaz Santamaría, near the cemetery in Curridabat, when allegedly two men on motorcycles at shot him several times.

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The violence continued on Thursday when two more people died after two shootings: The first, a man murdered on a public road, in the Matapalo sector of Sámara, on Costa Rica’s Pacifica coast; The second, in Los Malinches in Puerto Viejo, Sarapiquí, where a young man was shot five times.

Staying in Limon, a man was shot to death at a bar in Liverpool, followed by another shooting that left three people dead in the Bar El Coquito, in Matina.

In San Pedro, in the Vargas Araya sector, two men were shot dead following a car chase and a hail of bullets between the two vehicles. Security cameras reveal the gunmen, after the target vehicle came to a stop against a light post, and got out of their vehicles to search the vehicles and one of the occupants of the vehicle.

The count is at eight.

The ninth if that of a man who was found lifeless, inside a vehicle in the Corales neighborhood, in the central canton of Limón.

All the events took place in a lapse of 12 hours.


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